The embattled National Football League announced its decision to cancel this week’s edition of ‘Sunday Night Football’ on Tuesday; hoping to avoid a ratings bloodbath as a less-than-stellar line-up and New Year’s Eve festivities would have caused the NFL to reach embarrassing new lows.
The league opted to call-off the game before announcing which teams were scheduled to compete, adding the match-up wouldn’t have playoff implications and would likely cost the already troubled organization millions of dollars.
“We felt that both from a competitive standpoint and from a fan perspective, the most fair thing to do is to schedule all Week 17 games in either the 1 p.m. or 4:25 p.m. windows,” said a spokesperson for the NFL.
The National Football League is struggling to wrap up its disastrous 2017 season, with millions of fans tuning out or staying home following months of player protests.
Industry insiders predict the demonstrations have cost the NFL over $500 million.
President Trump thrust the issue into the national spotlight earlier this year, calling for a national boycott of the NFL until officials and owners clamp-down on their athletes “taking a knee” during the performance of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’
GAME OVER: 'Disgraceful' NFL to DITCH On-Field National Anthem
NFL owners and officials are considering changing the league’s rules for the upcoming 2018 season, crafting new policies that would keep all athletes in the locker room during the performance of the national anthem should player protests continue.
According to Sports Illustrated, the NFL is weighing the move after months of their athletes’ choosing to “take a knee” as the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ rings out throughout stadiums across the country.
The ensuring controversy has cost the league millions of dollars in decreased television ratings and ticket sales.
“I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen,” said a source close to the discussion.
President Trump thrust the issue of player protests into the national spotlight earlier this year when he called for a national boycott should the “disgraceful” league continue to permit political displays.
Just this week, the President called for a season-long suspension for one NFL star who chose to kneel during the US national anthem, but stood for the Mexican anthem while playing an international game in Mexico City.
Several coaches have vowed to stop the act, but none have implemented any policies that actually ban players from “taking a knee.”
GAME OVER: 'Monday Night Football' Ratings COLLAPSE to Record Lows
The National Football League continues to hemorrhage fans as player protests during the national anthem enter their second month, with ratings for the NFL’s premier ‘Monday Night Football’ plunging nearly 10% in just one week.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Monday night’s match-up netted just a 7.2 market share, down 9% from the previous week’s already dismal ratings. The low figure matches the troubled league’s second lowest viewership of the 2017 season.
“With a 7.2 in metered market results, last night’s MNF was down 9% from last week’s Philadelphia Eagles’ 34-24 triumph over the Washington Redskins,” writes Deadline.
“While not the MNF season low of the October 16 battle between the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts, last night’s Chiefs vs. Broncos match-up is very close to the previous MNF season low of the October 9 Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears games,” adds the author.
The NFL has been struggling to regain its footing following weeks of players choosing to “take a knee” during the performance of the US national anthem. The ensuing controversy gained national attention when President Trump called for a total boycott of the NFL until officials and owners require players to stand during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’